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Category Archives: flowers

Plaits, Poppies and The Summer Exhibition 

I love being able to plait hair again! When LiveWire T’s Mum was little she used to insist on an odd number of plaits and each one had to have a different coloured ribbon – sometimes seven plaits and all the colours of the rainbow.

On the way to school this morning we spotted pansies in a front garden.Today’s feast of art was at The Royal Academy for The Summer Exhibition. Here are some of our favourites.

By Bob and Roberta Smith

Poupee Bleue by Abdoulaye Konate


Untitled Throne, decommissioned arms by Gonçalo Mabunda

Bob and Roberta Smith

Alter Ego – two silver plated objects, one flattened by a 250 ton press, hanging on threads. Cornelia ParkerDetail from Swell by Sara Dodd. So delicate and made of porcelain, looking like sheets of filo pastry.


This was our absolute favourite, bronze and aluminium, called Silent Journey by Ann Christopher.

I could keep posting for ever tonight!

 

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Flowers, Flora and Fauna at West Pentire

Last night, after a 15 hour journey (including a 90 minute delay on the train) back from Barcelona where I had been visiting our twin Grandbabies, I came home to the lovely Mr S and a beautiful bunch of flowers.

Before the rains returned this afternoon we had a lovely walk around West Pentire, admiring the poppies and other wild flowers against the backdrop of the sea – just beautiful. Click on any photo for detail.

 

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Bill Mitchell, Our Friend Next Door 2/12/1951 – 14/4/2017

From the moment we came back to live in Cornwall in 2008 and serendipitously landed next door to Sue and Bill, we were made to feel welcome and loved. We were asked in for a drink even before we had moved in. On moving day, the pantechnicon couldn’t get up our drive, so next door’s fence came down and we moved in from their drive.

Breakfast in Charlotte’s Tea House, Truro

Bill’s big hugs were so lovely and happened sometimes out of the blue such as when we had gone to Plymouth to see Beautiful Journey  or London to see Babel and suddenly there behind us was Bill and then came the hugs.

It was some time before we began to realise that both Bill and Sue were something rather special in the art and theatre world! Bill was such a modest individual but over drinks and mince pies at Christmas or over dinner, he would regale us with wonderful stories of his work in the theatre, his designs and his inspirations opening our minds to new worlds.

I loved hearing the gentle whirr of the hand pushed mower as Bill mowed the lawn next door.  He was right, it did make for a lovelier lawn.

Bill nurtured everyone’s talents. He knew that I loved to knit for our Grandchildren and one day asked if I could knit something for him. WildWorks were working on a project in Kensington Palace and needed knitted Crown Jewels! Bill asked if I could make the orb. It took some ingenuity and several trials but I managed it and it was there in Kensington Palace! It was held by each person who sat in the knitted throne when they visited the installation.

A child holding the Orb that I knitted for the exhibition

Bill gave me a most precious gift the last time we were in the car with them. Somehow we were talking about names and I told him how I had always disliked my middle name only ever using my initial, H. He asked what it was and though I had told no-one for 50+ years, such was Bill that I did tell him. It’s Hilda (and this will come as news to many, many people!) Bill told me that the name means fighter and warrior and that it suited my nature and that I should be proud of it – so I have regained the name my Granny gave me and I can now wear the beautiful gold and tiny diamond H which I inherited from her. When I was a little girl my Granny told me that she would give the little H on a black ribbon if only I would say I liked my name. I was named after her – but I was a stubborn and rather horrid little girl and I wouldn’t say it. With Bill in mind, I will now own my name with pride and honour my Granny.

H for Hilda

Bill couldn’t eat onions, leeks or garlic so making a meal was sometimes a bit of a challenge. I don’t like lamb but the lovely Mr S does.  On one occasion I cooked a herby roast chicken in our house and Sue cooked lamb with garlic in theirs. We took the chicken round and Bill and I enjoyed that while Sue and my Mr S loved the lamb dinner.

Latterly, when Bill was unwell, he fancied puddings more than a roast dinner. He put in a special request for Treacle Tart, Lemon Sponge and Syrup Sponge and told me when we met over the garden fence that the puddings were, ‘Nectar; pure ambrosia.”

It was Bill who introduced me to Claire Ingleheart in whose choirs I have been singing ever since and with whose choirs I took part in Heligan 100. It was Bill who introduced us to the magic of community and landscape theatre through his wonderful WildWorks productions and it is Bill we will say goodbye to on Friday 5th May along with the hundreds of others who loved him.

Mecanopsis, a blue Poppy

Sue told me recently that Bill thought blue was the colour of memory, the Underworld, the blue yonder, ‘into the blue…’ so this beautiful blue Poppy, from our garden, is for Bill, with love.

For those who would like to know more about Bill’s professional life, these obituaries and the video tell the story:

https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2017/apr/18/bill-mitchell-obituary

http://www.cornwalllive.com/bill-mitchell-wildwork-s-critically-acclaimed-artistic-director-dies-aged-65-after-cancer-battle/story-30272730-detail/story.html

 

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Iris, Seeds and John Keats

We spotted this beautiful Iris in a border today. I love the planting of the violet Iris with the orange Wallflowers behind.

It will be our Golden Wedding later this Summer and I am planting lots of pale gold flowers in the hope of having gold all over the garden. These Nasturtiums are the first to go in – to the monkey planter and somewhere else.

The following poem is well known and lovely. In this world which is having some dark moments, it is worth remembering that ‘in spite of all’ beauty and love will transcend the bad and the ugly. Hold onto that thought. With love to all my readers.

from Endymion

A Poetic Romance

(excerpt)

BOOK I
A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o’er-darkened ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits.
 

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Window, Tulips and A Glass of Wine

I noticed a very pretty stained glass window in our lovely town for the first time today.

Our Tulip border is looking gorgeous, just one rogue red one among the pale pink and white ones. The purple ones are only just starting to bloom and the blue Muscari are finishing off. I do love Spring flowers.

It has been a glorious day today and the first where we could sit out quite late with a glass of wine and watch the sun go down. It is beginning to feel like the beginning of Summer!  Our friend, Shelagh, tell us it is snowing again in Vermont!

 

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Family Tree, Dandelion and Country Music Title

I love this family tree made by the daughter of a lovely and rather special friend. She was one of my students in the Training School and was an excellent student. I always remember with great fondness that she came to my Dad’s home, in the village where my school was, to play the piano for my lovely Dad who had gone blind. He was so thrilled and so pleased both to meet C and to have her play for him. She was an accomplished player as well as a talented young teacher.

The photo was accompanied by the following text – “History, war, colonisation, freedom of movement, all of this explains why some children like mine end up with a complex family tree. My daughter will turn eight tomorrow and I pray for her world to be open-minded.”  So do I, C. Thank you for letting my post this. Happy Birthday to O.xx

I love the bright cheerfulness of dandelions!

Today is Quirky Country Music Titles Day and it was being celebrated on Radio Cornwall as I drove to my Pilates class this morning. I just loved the title and the song, ‘Tequila makes her clothes fall off!”  – not at all pc but very funny! Here is the link should you wish to listen! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nj2700em-JQ

 

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St Euny, Yellow and A Poem

This morning we walked the Churchyard again, this time with the photographer for Cornwall Today, a local magazine where our project is to be featured in the May edition.  Every journey into the Churchyard is a revelation – more stones discovered and different Spring flowers in bloom. Today it is Celandines, Primroses and Daffodils.

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This beautiful poem by Linda Gregg is most appropriate for today.
In Praise of Spring – Linda Gregg
 
The day is taken by each thing and grows complete.
I go out and come in and go out again,
confused by a beauty that knows nothing of delay,
rushing like fire. All things move faster
than time and make a stillness thereby. My mind
leans back and smiles, having nothing to say.
Even at night I go out with a light and look
at the growing. I kneel and look at one thing
at a time. A white spider on a peony bud.
I have nothing to give, and make a poor servant,
but I can praise the spring. Praise this wildness
that does not heed the hour. The doe that does not
stop at dark but continues to grow all night long.
The beauty in every degree of flourishing. Violets
lift to the rain and the brook gets louder than ever.
The old German farmer is asleep and the flowers go on
opening. There are stars. Mint grows high. Leaves
bend in the sunlight as the rain continues to fall.
 
 

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